Tag Archives: Redewendungen

What’s all the flap about?

Yesterday I learned that the expression “to have blinders or blinkers on” can also be used in German – Scheuklappen aufhaben or Scheuklappen tragen or mit Scheuklappen herumlaufen – when one wants to describe someone as rather close-minded. According to an entry on http://www.redensarten-index.de/ the word has been used in this figurative manner since at least 1512 (albeit with older word Scheuleder).

The word die Scheuklappe is a combination of scheu – “timid,” or “skittish,” in the case of horses – and the “flap” meaning of die KlappeScheu is also found in the expression die Gäule scheu machen – “to upset the applecart.” The word die Klappe appears in the expression zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen – “to kill two birds with one stone.” Die Klappe is also part of the expression Halt die Klappe! – “shut your trap/gob” – which one might be tempted to shout at someone wearing those Scheuklappen.

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Liebe auf den zigsten Blick?

Letzter Donnerstag beschrieb ich, wie ich PONS den Laufpass gab. Aber dieser Donnerstag bin ich mich mal wieder verliebe, weil ich ihres »Deutsche Grammatik & Rechtschreibung« fand. Mein Vertrauen in PONS wiederherstellte, hätte ich nun die Energie, um einen Beschwerdebrief über »Grammatik in Bildern« zu schreiben. Bleiben Sie dran!

 

 


Noch ein paar Beispiele von diesem schrecklichen PONS Bilderbuch:

Es gibt nur »Die Ableitungen mit trennbaren Präfixen« (S. 140) und »Die Ableitungen mit trennbaren Präfixen« (S. 142-143). Keine von den, dass trennbar und untrennbar sein, nämlich (laut canoo.net) durch, über, um, unter, wider.

»Die Ableitung mit Suffixen« (S. 144- 147 fehlt fünfte der Häufigsten -heit, -(ig)keit, -ei, -schaft und -ung.

 

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Of Owls and Spoons

Last week we were discussing Redewendungen – “idiomatic expressions” – and the phrase die Suppe auslöffeln was one that I had previously heard. Literally it means “to eat up all of the soup” but the figurative meaning can be translated as “to face the music” or “to face the consequences” – die Konsequenzen/Folgen tragen. This led me to other phrases including the verb tragen, some of which feel quite natural in English, others less so. Prior to learning the idiom die Suppe auslöffeln, I’d used this verb mainly in the sense of “wearing” something as in “to wear a coat” – einen Mantel tragen. Here are some expressions and saying that extended the meaning of tragen for me:

“to carry a trunk” – einen Koffer tragen
“to bear a name” – einen Namen tragen
“to pay for itself” – sich selbst tragen

“to grin and bear it” – es mit Fassung tragen (“to bear something with composure”)
“to bring coals to Newcastle” – Eulen nach Athen tragen (“to take owls to Athens” – the owl is the symbol of Athena and appeared on Athenian coins)
“to wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve” – das Herz auf der Zunge tragen (“to wear your heart on your tongue”)

In addition, there is a related word, übertragen, that is part of the expression for the figurative meaning of a word – die übertragener Bedeutung – which perhaps could be translated as the meaning “carried above” the actual words?!

Hope I haven’t “worn you out” with all of these (which I might have done if I had covered all of the possible translations dict.cc gives for “worn out,” abgetragen among them)

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